What is Microlearning?


What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a training approach becoming popular inside companies by its high completion rates and by how engaging they are to trainees. The name is pretty self explanatory, these are shorter training delivered online. The big difference between microlearning and a bigger course split in more pieces is that microlearning reaches a specific training objective on its own.

Main benefits of microlearning

  • Fast: A shorter training is great for a generation that has less and less capable of staying focused for long periods of time. This also means that less of business hours are attributed to training, meaning fewer tasks that fall behind on schedule and less pressure of managers about the time that a worker is away from its main job.
  • On-demand: Microlearning material can be made available exactly when a worker is missing know how in a specific area. This way the study is made immediately before putting it in practice which makes it more easily retained.
  • Accessible: Making the content even easier to access could mean the necessity to make it accessible through a tablet or a smartphone. Thinking in a microlearning strategy that includes this type of platform evidences these benefits.
  • Customization: With shorter training you can choose to segment your audiences in a more specific manner. For example, if you have two types of sales teams you can make two different medias with sales arguments adapted to each type.
  • Rich Media: A lot of microlearning materials are based in rich media such as recorded vídeos, animated vídeos, whiteboard animations, gamified activities, decision-making cases, games and small simulations. These are only a few examples of what makes the learning more engaging and therefore more successful.
  • Fast production: developing macrolearning training can take months from Conception until approval. Microlearning can reach the student in a matter of days.
  • Cheaper: Since its smaller and more intense, microlearning is cheap to produce. And as mentioned, keeps the employee away from the job for less time, diminishing its indirect cost.
  • Easy to update: If you have a huge course that becomes outdated, sometimes the effort is so big to change it that often companies don’t do it. With microlearning, if any piece is outdated you can replace it or simply take it without hurting other contents.
  • Big impact: the combination of the benefits stated before, both for the learner as to the company have a great cost-benefit impact.

When to use microlearning?

The use of microlearning is wide, for its a wide open strategy.

But what can you reach exactly with fast and intense materials?

  • Lack of specific information: A company rule changed? A specific procedure is being executed with many mistakes? Your audience an incorrect attitude or behaviour? All these are valid cases for the use of microlearning and can be done in two ways:

Ponctual actions: one or few materials are made available as soon as it is missing relevant information.

Series: Consider that your audience already has training in leadership, for example, but it is noted that a few concepts or attitudes are missing. That is an opportunity to make a microlearning series, with each material focusing on one leadership aspect you need to capacitate.

Creating a library: By creating a database of microlearning focused on the everyday job of your audience, trainees can search for answers inside their company before searching in other platforms where information can conflict in the way your company deals with them.

Complementing or supplementing macrolearning: In results analysis of your macrolearning action did you notice that a concept was not clear? Or that it was missing some information that after being analysed became noticeably important? Use micro learning to fight these small misses.

Continuous actions: Microlearning, by its size, can be part of the daily routine of your audience. Imagine the possibility to make available a small content followed by one question quiz. That material can become part of the database that we just spoke about.

  • Have your strategic objective clear and decide from there if microlearning makes sense.
  • To each content have a single focus, a single learning objective.
  • Take advantage of working with a smaller media to have faster, richer and accessible solutions.

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